25 March 2017

The hoarding has come down and the long-awaited Capitol development in the heart of Cork’s City Centre has been revealed. Excitement builds as the official opening of The Capitol fast approaches and the much-speculated occupiers can now be officially confirmed with well over 80% of the development already leased. The €50 million redevelopment project by Cork Company JCD Group, had been heralded as a major step forward in the rejuvenation of the City Centre and today marks another significant milestone reached as the anchor tenants are announced.


Ireland's largest sports retailer Life Style Sports will occupy half the retail space on the ground and first floors, with pedestrian entrances on both St Patrick’s Street and the Grand Parade.  The retail giant who already has 53 outlets nationwide and online has started its fitout and is expected to open its doors in The Capitol in June 2017. This new Flagship store will be one of their largest footprints in Ireland expanding over 21,000 sq ft over two floors.


The remaining retail space has been let to an undisclosed international homewares operator who are understood to be taking over 20,000 sq ft.


The much sought after ultra-modern Grade A office space has an address of 14-23 Grand Parade. With panoramic views of the Cork looking west to the County Hall and east to Tivoli, the space has attracted a lot of attention from potential tenants. It has been reported that US technology giant Facebook have taken an entire floor and have already started hiring in Cork.


US security software company AlienVault will be moving into their new European Headquarters on the second floor in late April with the capacity to grow their Cork operation to over 100 employees in the coming years. The remainder of the second floor will accommodate Chinese telecommunications giant, Huawei, who are taking 6,000 sq ft and have had an R&D centre in Cork since 2013 and expect to occupy in mid May.


Currently the third floor remains the only space available in the building. The spacious floor plate has spectacular views of Cork City, an abundance of natural light, a large balcony overlooking St Patrick’s Street and an outdoor south facing terrace with views of the Grand Parade. The entire floor at 17,000 sq ft can be split into two occupancies. While JCD would not give any details, they confirmed negotiations are ongoing with a number of potential tenants. Rental levels for this prime City Centre office space at €32 per sq ft is less than half of the equivalent cost of city centre office space in Dublin.


It has also been confirmed that well-known Dublin publican Alan Clancy has agreed a long-term lease to reopen the iconic Oyster Tavern which was retained during the build and is one of Cork’s oldest licensed premises. The lavish new fit-out of the classic venue will reportedly cost €1.5 million and will include a restaurant, bar and oyster bar. The establishment is to focus its food offering on fresh produce from the neighbouring world famous English Market. The doors are expected to open just in time for the June Bank Holiday weekend. This will be Clancy’s first direct foray into the Cork market with existing successful premises such as House in Dublin and Limerick and 37 Dawson Street in Dublin.


John Cleary of JCD Group said: “We are very pleased to have over 80% of the development let with a mixture of very exciting national and international retailers as well as top-class publican Alan Clancy for the Oyster Tavern and the unique offering it will have. To have global technology companies AlienVault and Huawei as office occupiers is a great endorsement of the building and indeed Cork as a Foreign Direct Investment location. The combination of additional retail footfall and the presence of so many office workers will be very positive for city centre traders. We would like to thank the surrounding businesses especially the English Market traders who have been very supportive throughout the build programme and also compliment our building contractor BAM and their project team for delivering such a high quality project.”


The Capitol site which had been derelict for almost a decade has now been transformed into a landmark building, which upon full occupancy will support up to 600 people working there.


The new development extends to 0.75 of an acre and stretches from Patrick’s Street to the Grand Parade and is 100,000 sq ft in total. Construction began on 25th January 2016 and marked the first step in the first major high-street development in Cork since Opera Lane was completed in 2007. The site, was previously occupied by six shops, The Vineyard and Oyster Tavern and the former Capitol cinema.


JCD have earlier this week announced plans for a new 50,000 sq ft office building on Corks South Mall which will accommodate up to 450 jobs.


For further information see www.thecapitol.ie or The Capitol on Facebook and @TheCapitolCork on Twitter.